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Bolt, Blake headline weekend track action

Bolt, Blake headline weekend track action

Fans are waiting with bated breath for the showdown between Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake.

London: The much anticipated track and field segment of the London Olympics runs off on Friday with the first round of the women's 100 metre expected to be the highlight, but most would be waiting with bated breath for the showdown between Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake later in the weekend.

While Olympic action started last week, many fans, including IAAF President Lamine Diack, believe the showpiece will really come alive with the start of the track and field fireworks, reports CMC.

"For me the Games are beginning on Friday, August the third," Diack told reporters here this week.

"We have the same number of events (47) as in Beijing. Last Olympics brought five world records, 12 Olympic records, five successful title defenders, and world leading marks in eight men and 13 women events."

In London, the Caribbeans are predicted to win 16 medals and again Jamaica is expected to dominate this table with Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, Grenada the other teams expected to score.

On the men's side, Blake and Bolt, based on form, are expected to take the top spots, though fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell cannot be ruled out, and this could see a Caribbean sweep.

"You know when you have fast guys running wonderful times, Usain, Tyson, myself, Gatlin, and Asafa," Blake said. "You know great things can be expected because those guys are really fast.

"We are not really looking at times, we are looking at the gold medal."

Powell, who is not considered a gold medal contender by many, said: "If I don't make the podium, I'll be very disappointed."

He added: "I know I have what it takes to go out there and perform."

Bolt, the reigning Olympic champion in both sprints, remains the man to beat and envisions something spectacular over the weekend.

"Hands down, for sure, I am thinking this could easily be one of the fastest race everyone has ever seen," he said.

"These guys have shown potential throughout the season, the guys are running fast, and that is expected because it's an Olympic year."

The 200m again is expected to feature Bolt versus Blake and that looks to be it for the Caribbean.

In the 400m, the region's hopes are on Grenadian World champion Kirani James, although the Bahamian pair of Chris Brown and Demetrius Pinder could surprise with a podium place finish.

The 19-year-old James said he was ready, but noted: "It's a very talented field throughout. A lot of good guys are coming up so you really can't under estimate anybody.

"It's the Olympics, anything can happen, and that is why you have to be ready for anything."

first published:August 03, 2012, 15:27 IST